With every good comes a bad... and with every bad comes a black list. Yes. Today's topic is about handling the people who make it difficult for you to do your job.
In any field, but especially in the performing arts, there is the issue of dealing with the ego. If you ask me, I have zero time or tolerance for it.
On a regular basis, I do get along with about 90% of the people I come across and work with, but I do have that small 10% that I've worked with once and know that I will never work with them again OR will work with them on a limited basis. I am also not afraid to share this list to prevent well-meaning fellow producers from suffering similar fates.
I guess what I am trying to convey here is: DON'T be afraid to have a black list of your own. Really, it's more to protect yourself and your integrity. Even some of the most famous people and famous venues are on peoples' blacklists. (Seriously!)
Sure, people deserve second chances and I definitely give plenty of those, but when it comes to thirds and fourths - yes, I am guilty of these too - it means my trust in you wavers and eventually dies out.
As a producer, you are looked at to be dependable and as sort of a oasis of knowledge. I am still on my way to being an expert in this field, but I am definitely still growing and learning, but I've made enough personal mistakes in endeavors that I've had to make a blacklist to stay successful.
Look, not everyone has to like you, BUT that goes both ways. YOU don't have to like everyone. (Especially those who could potentially be two-faced and think that in the very small artistic community we have that their mouth won't be heard. #NoTeaNoShade)
My advice: Take a read of the vibe between you and someone you're working with or looking to book when you first meet. This is why interviews are extremely important. Trust me, this sounds easy, but it's a learned skill and I've been wrong many times.
While some people may think working in the arts is one big kumbaya-fest, I have to be honest and say it caaan be that, but it's mostly between professionals who like to work with each other. The ones they don't like? Well, they aren't in the circle. Period.
What's really important to say here is that art is usually created in a safe space or exists to create safety. Why would you want to do that with someone who does not make you feel supported or respected? Hence, blacklisting was created.
So I ask you: Do you have a blacklist? If so - without specifically mentioning names - who was your inaugural member?
DISCLAIMER:This is part of a series of weekly posts where I give my opinion on hot-button issues in the production world. They will always be my opinion and are always meant to spark conversation!